Health Tips for the Cricketer

My 19-year-old son is a cricketer and goes out for training early in the morning on an empty stomach. Is this the right thing to do or should he eat something before he leaves?


Research has shown that training on an empty stomach gives rise to a situation, where stored glycogen (storage form of glucose) in the muscles and liver becomes low and this can impair performance. We are fasting through the night from dinner onwards and the blood glucose levels are very low. When you start exercising you need energy like a car needs petrol to run. If you are empty stomach then glucose stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen gets pulled out for use and one will feel very exhausted and performance goes down.Sub optimal liver glycogen levels will severely affect those in endurance sports like cricket, tennis etc as well as gives poor performance in high intensity competition. So this may even affect his run taking or bowling which is high intensity for those moments.



What is the ideal food to be taken before an event or early in the morning?
As Sports Nutrition Consultant for the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore we have insisted that everybody drink a glass of milk and eat a banana before they leave for training early in the morning. A pre event meal must be high in carbohydrate, non greasy and easily digestive.
Sugar and flavoring like Bournvita, Horlicks etc can be added to the milk. Other suggestions are toast and jam or cereal (cornflakes) with milk. The reason for suggesting a banana is because a banana supplies glucose and fruit sugar - fructose to the blood in just 20 minutes. Regular sugar- sucrose and sugar in milk -lactose are absorbed into the blood only after 45 minutes.